My Terrible Emotiva Experience


Hi guys,

I've read some mixed reviews of Emotiva, some good, so bad.  I wanted to share my recent experience with them so people see what kind of company they're dealing with.

So, I have an Emotiva power amp I bought a few years ago.  I have my DAC running straight into it, and I've been pretty happy with that setup for a while, but I decided I wanted to buy a processor/preamp to give me some options.  Since I had an Emotiva amp, I preferred to buy one from them, just so they match, since this is in my living room. The only problem I had was that the one that best fit my setup had been out of stock for quite a while.

Fast-forward to a couple of weeks ago, when they announce their "Renewed Item" event. Renewed means different things to different companies, so I e-mailed them to ask if their renewed items simply returned items or if they were used items from their trade-in program. The first reply I got was some vague sales speak about how happy I would be with my renewed item, but after pushing a little harder, they replied and told me that their renewed items were returns from their 30-day demo program that some of them "had never even been opened".  Satisfied with this answer, I placed my order.

When I first opened the box, I realized there was a problem.  The remote was just tossed in the box loose, and it was *disgusting*.  It was covered in what looked like chocolate and sofa lint.  Even after I cleaned it off, it was badly scuffed and scratched, and looked like it had been shoved between someone's couch cushions for a few years. The cables were wadded up in a bag, and the RCA patch cables were covered in dust and grime, the way they get when they are behind your TV for a few years.  The unit itself looked ok, but there was dog hair stuck to the feet of it and all inside the black cover they wrapped the unit in. It was very clear just looking at it that this was not a 30-day demo, but was a well-used item that someone had traded in for an upgrade.  It was also clear that Emotiva had done absolutely nothing to "renew" it.  They hadn't replaced the remote, or even cleaned it, or even the cables.  I can't imagine that they even tested it.

When I contacted them about the problem, they admitted nothing.  They basically just processed the return, which at least I can be thankful for. They did send me some e-mail that started off like an apology, but then turned into a denial that "anything like this could have left our factory".  Even after I sent them photos, I got no reply, no offer to replace it with a proper unit.

While I can't complain that much, since I did get my money back, I still feel that companies shouldn't lie to their customers. If it's a used item, then they should just say that.  They only reduced the price maybe $30-40 off the price of a new unit, so there's no way I would have bought it if I knew it was used.  It would have saved everyone a lot of trouble. And I think if you renew an item, you should at least make sure it's clean and the accessories are in good working order, especially if you're charging near new price for it. Finally, while I didn't ask them for anything other than my money back, if this was a factory mistake and not just how they do business, then they should make some attempt to "make it right". At least offer to replace it with a unit in the condition they promised.  Or at absolute minimum they should give you a sincere apology, and not a veiled accusation that you're a liar. (And I'm not even sure why someone would lie, since they have a 30 days money-back policy.  There's no need to be dishonest.  You can just ask for a return for any reason.)

In any case, before you drop a few thousand on equipment from these guys, you should consider the way they do business. You should absolutely never buy a renewed item from them.  You also might wonder if those new items are really new, or if they're the 30 day demos and the refurbs. This is not a company that you can really trust.
himerope
 
they replied and told me that their renewed items were returns from their 30-day demo program and some of them "had never even been opened". Satisfied with this answer, I placed my order....
When I contacted them about the problem, they admitted nothing. They basically just processed the return, which at least I can be thankful for....
While I can't complain that much, since I did get my money back, I still feel that companies shouldn't lie to their customers....

So you decide to join A'gon today to complain & let us know that they offer $$$ back returns and follow through with their promise? 

You also might wonder if those new items are really new, or if they're the 30 day demos and the refurbs. This is not a company that you can really trust
Huh? You were told that. My very 1st quote verifies this from YOUR OWN WORDS. I think the last quote speaks mostly about you. You  are projecting. Now you want to besmirch their character because you got the exact item you ordered. You rolled the dice to save some $$$ on a previously used & returned item and you were not satisfied.   Please grow up.



I think your reading comprehension is lacking.  They told me the items were used 30 days or less, and sent me an item that had been used for several years. There's a huge difference between a demo that someone tried for 30 days or less and returned, and a item that had been used for years that they took as part of their trade-in program and resold.

And I read Audiogon quite often, but I'm not an expert so I rarely have anything to contribute. There's not much info about this company online because they're so small, so I thought my experience was worth posting.  Otherwise how else can people know what to expect?
That’s terrible? OK Ok ok, Hummmmm, Hummmmm, Hummmmm. Ding!
Hummmmm, Hummmmm, Hummmmm. DING!

It’s a Bajorin birthing ritual from Deep Space 9. Hummmmm! DING!

A little time and a little lesson, no harm, no foul..
I am somehow horribly confused by this post :D
@himerope

Thanks for your sharing. I appreciate your reasoned and well presented experience. You come across as reasonable and perfectly justified in your disappointment. Where Artimas’ is coming from is hard to understand.
.
Unfortunately, for every well intended person, there is someone lurking in the background wanting to pronounce judgement. 
"When I first opened the box, I realized there was a problem. The remote was just tossed in the box loose, and it was *disgusting*. It was covered in what looked like chocolate and sofa lint."

So somebody tried it for a while and returned it. The box was probably sitting in a warehouse for a while; perhaps nobody there opened it and checked.

Chocolate and sofa lint?  Like some fat guy eating chocolate covered raisins while burning in the system for many hours; sitting on a used sofa.
Post removed 
Emotiva is a high volume sales model. Each unit shipped is a book keeping metric; we're not talking individualized artisan here. You got your money back, so it's all good. Next time, buy Emotiva new. They make good products for their prices.
Thanks for the warning.  
On the flip side Safe and Sound refurbished Martin Logan speakers are like new.
If this would have happened to me, I would have been similarly unimpressed.  It's obvious that Emotiva needs to tighten up their procedures at the warehouse, or demote someone.  

Whoever returned a unit with chocolate all over the remote should face a restocking fee, and a free membership to the "not allowed to buy at Emotiva again" club.  

I am no fan of Emotiva, but personally I would be willing to give them one more chance, the next time I was shopping.  But probably not a B stock or factory refreshed again.  

In my case, they burned through my goodwill with a cd player that would freeze up, a preamp/dac that was unusable as a preamp, and then an amp whose sonics were only the equal of a receiver.  
It's pretty gross. At least it was just chocolate. 
Stear clear.   
  Heard many good and many bad mentions of this company. 
      I would move on, as a company like this is in it for profit, and with some descent products.    I would look elsewhere personally. 
      There’s a lot of gold products on the Gon,  search and find a mu,ch better product. 
   Even used, there is a lot of good stuff. 
  
     Just go with a reputable brand, flea bay is ok, but be careful and use PayPal, so your purchase is protected, 
AGon would be a much safer buy, most on here are descent, not to say there aren’t schmucks on here selling stuff as there are. 
 Look at McCormack, integra(higher end of Onkyo)
    Check accessories for less.com. They have some descent deals and a great return policy. 
 Good luck on your search. 
 Hope you find a great piece!

  Not sure, McCormack may make one,....they are available, and will give years of reliable use.
heard good things about the Integra line also, had the cd carousel for a while, sounded really good!

 Anyway, enjoy the search and good luck.
been in your boat many times w reliability and below standard products and companies. 
  
   
But, in all fairness, still have a pair of the XPA1 mono blocs.    They have been kept like new in their original boxes, and are opened 2-3 X a year to hook up, and keep them in good shape.    Plug in, power up, leave on for a day, p,lay some music, then power down and pack back up. Pristine amps, hope they last, and they can be passed on to family....
  
   anyway, the emo amps are ok, for what they are, affordable SEPERATES to buyers who don’t know better. 
 I found them bright, and w lots of gain.   Made my speakers at the time , have tweeter hiss, and distort faster due to high gain, not because the speakers were bad, not at all.
 The same speakers were a joy with the Sunfire, and the Rotel RB-1090 beast.       W the xpa-1, it was somewhat harsh to my ears, Amd I’m a huge advocate of warm speakers, which these amps did not produce.      I keep them, as trying to sell them, I would lose money. So hopefully they keep working, or they will be doorstops. 
That's ok OP, NOW I have your attention.. Why don't WE look for a little more refinement in your stereo pallet.. May I offer a solution that offers  better performance and better resale value.

Parasound.  You are going to spend about the same, YET you are actually taking a great audiophile step UP in quality.. 

No matter the issue YOU had, learning the way you did is pretty darn cheap, ay? Really you did ok.. I've got a whopper or two.. really.. I do..

Happy amp/? hunting...

Regards
Well your experience wasn't great, but terrible, not really. Certainly not worthy of the overlong post you wrote.
Terrible?
Maybe not the greatest audio purchase but terrible?
Sometimes you get what you pay for. You didn’t even mentioned whether it sounded good.
Pay the extra $ to buy new, life will be easier for you.
I would say bothering and not terrible, you got a refund and became wiser the hard way.

G
OP, 

As this was based on on only 1 experience, it is rather silly to judge the logistics of an entire company. I'm sure  there are other people who have had positive experiences with the company.

They refunded your money. That alone is admitting they were wrong. If they didn't think so, you would be stuck with that gear. Seems like someone in a warehouse made a mistake....but mistakes happen. 

Do you have anything positive to share about Emotiva?
First, you should never buy lighting at Lowes or Home Depot without inspecting it first. :-)

Second, their processors are among the worst sounding I've ever heard. So incredibly thin and bass-less.
My late father, may the Lord rest his soul, used to say "if you buy used, then you're usually buying other people's problems." I have found that to be true for me as a general proposition, although YMMV. Notwithstanding what Emotiva told you, you either believed or had reason to believe that there could be issues with the used equipment. So, IMHO, that's on you, and should be taken as an object lesson for the future. In the meantime, you received a refund and are really no worse for the wear. Time to move on.
@himerope


 I think your reading comprehension is lacking. They told me the items were used 30 days or less, and sent me an item that had been used for several years. There's a huge difference between a demo that someone tried for 30 days or less and returned, and a item that had been used for years that they took as part of their trade-in program and resold.


First, I was reading at a 16-4 level when I entered college. That is past a masters degree level. So, no reading loss. Second, Again, you accused them of selling used equipment past the 30 days? How do you know that? Because it was dirty? I know people who could destroy a Sherman tank in less than 30 days. 

Granted, your experience was less than pleasing. maybe you got your way all the time as a kid? I don't know. But I know you are acting like a kid who is experiencing the real world for the 1st time. Maybe I was somewhat harsh with you earlier. But walking into a room without anyone knowing who you are an crying about spilled milk is no way to enter a room, which is why I told you to grow up. You got your $$ back. It cost you some time and maybe inconvenience. That's a cheap price for education. It usually costs real $$$. If they had kept your $$$, I'd be right there with you and even do what I could to help. But I can't see where you experienced anything we all haven't faced before. 


@ghdprentice 

Where Artimas’ is coming from is hard to understand.
Its a Grown up position. its like when you were 4 yrs old and fell down and started to cry. Then your dad comes over, and, seeing that you are not hurt, he brushes you off &  tells you to, "Go on now. You're a big boy"

@artemus_5 
+1

You can't argue with that. A huge dose of common sense.
@artemus_5 So basically, you're saying that if someone whips out a pistol and takes a few potshots at me, it's fine as long as they don't hit any major organs.  I should just walk it off and keep it to myself.

The fact that I got my money back means nothing.  They couldn't keep my money anyway.  I paid by credit card, and I had clear evidence that they had lied about the product, so I could have filed a chargeback with my credit card and gotten the money either way.

My point is, they deceptively market their renewed products as being demos or returns, when in fact, at least some of them are used items from their trade-in program.  That's something people who do business with them should know. I'm sharing my experience to keep other people from going through the same hassle with them, or even worse, getting an item that looks new but is actually old and breaks in a couple of years. I don't have any particular vendetta against Emotiva.  Like I said in my post, I have one of their amps, and I like it just fine.  That's why I was so surprised when this happened.

From the tone of your posts, it's pretty clear you must have some financial relationship with Emotiva.  Otherwise, I don't know why you would get so upset and rant like this.  There are many posts on this forum by people who aren't happy with products or companies, and on none of the other posts are the OP attacked like this. I would suggest that if they have employees who harass people on forums like this, then they have a serious company culture problem.  I guess in this light, the responses I got from them aren't surprising at all.
At just 3 posts, we’ve identified yet another tone control knob.

Let’s keep things neutral. Seems like you’re all about that bass, no treble?!


@himerope
I believe I heard you 15 or 16 yrs ago. Yep. Yer that little fellow that was sitting in the shopping cart, raising hell because your mom wouldn’t let you pull things off the shelf, aren’t ya?

Nobody shot at you. That’s you, shooting yourself in the foot.
@artemus_5 

Its a Grown up position. its like when you were 4 yrs old and fell down and started to cry. Then your dad comes over, and, seeing that you are not hurt, he brushes you off & tells you to, "Go on now. You're a big boy"

So, I see you are superior. Now, I get it. Recapping a bad experience with a vender to a group of audio enthusiasts is an opportunity criticize the poster. We’re you a bully grade school as well? Why not be nice and just move on without putting the OP down?
@himerope

Trying to prove your point....and make an audio company appear like it's being run by the spawn of Satan. Did you consider how this pandemic is negatively affecting businesses? And you want to make it worse?!

If everyone on here denounced Emotiva and swore to never buy or consider their products, would that make you happy?! What are you trying to accomplish with your posts??

Michelle Branch - Are You Happy Now?

Please...no more than 1 response. Too much more, and +4 db of bass is going to muddy things up. No, I don't expect you to know the difference between sub bass and mid bass. One rumbles, the other thumps. You've done both so far with poor resolution.

You are not Green Giant. You are not standing tall. Nobody thinks you're sharing sweat peas. Much less, sour grapes - discounted at a ghetto grocery store. Getting sick from 1 experience may be something you want. If so, enjoy yourself.

Beats Solo.
To recap my original post:

1. I liked my Emotiva amp enough that I wanted to buy a processor from them.
2. I had a bad experience with their renewed products, and I feel their marketing of these products is deceptive. Or possibly it's a mistake that they just handled badly.  People can decide on their own.

That's both positive and negative feedback, and it's just one data point for people who are looking at Emotiva. 

It's clear from these posts that some of you have some financial relationship with Emotiva that is motivating your posts. I really think you should consider two things:

1.  People are smart, and they can tell when company shills are posting. I'm sure you're trying to discredit my experiences so that they don't affect future buyers, but are you sure that you're accomplishing that? It seems to me that forum bullying will do nothing be reinforce negative perceptions of your company.

2. You're bumping this thread to the top of the forum, and making it so active it's going to end up on the list of "topics of the day" that get mailed out to all forum members.  Is that really in your best interests?
The newest CD player is pretty nice.
   Heard great things about it. 
  But for a couple hundo more your in the Rotel CD player ballpark....


    The speakers are excellent from what I heard for 20 minutes. 

I wouldn't be happy either if this happened to me. I don't like returning things, and have overlooked minor flaws in demo equipment as long as the equipment worked properly. It should have been inspected, cleaned and repacked properly though.  
OP I'll never forget this bid I won.. 3 Mcintosh pieces, MX110z and a pair of MC30s. I won the bid at 3,000.00.  Pictures looked great, it was a good deal..

They arrived 6 weeks later AFTER Katrina hit. That's right.. Completely ruined. Water was still actually dripping out of the boxes they were packed in.. No refund, no recourse. ACT OF GOD.. is what they said..

The guy lost his whole business, I lost some nice gear.. 

The gear was packed and at the terminal dock that went under water for quite a few days...

Who was at fault?

I'll trade ya.. :-) Chocolate, how about brackish water from New Orleans with an occasional crawdad.. LOL
@ghdprentice

My reply to your lack of understanding my post

Its a Grown up position. its like when you were 4 yrs old and fell down and started to cry. Then your dad comes over, and, seeing that you are not hurt, he brushes you off & tells you to, "Go on now. You’re a big boy"

Your reply to me
So, I see you are superior. Now, I get it. Recapping a bad experience with a vender to a group of audio enthusiasts is an opportunity criticize the poster. We’re you a bully grade school as well? Why not be nice and just move on without putting the OP down?

The sad fact is that I suspect THIS reply is based on how you were taught to read. I learned how public school had introduced literary criticism to 1st graders when I had to help my 6 yr old niece last fall with her learning to read.
I never bought into literary criticism when I was in college, nor do I know. But when you are taught this at an early age, your reply is the outcome. The reason is that one component of LC teaches you to look for the intent of the authors writing. Supposedly, The reason its taught is to analyze the Type of document it is. But most people will automatically know if they are reading a technical journal or a love story, So its like the unnecessary teaching to look out for something which itself is self explanatory. The problem is that more often than not, the modern reader will accuse the writer of bad conduct whenever the writer disagrees with their POV. That is the natural outgrowth of teaching this at such an early age. But we have at least one generation, if not 2 who often does this same thing where anyone who disagrees with them is said to be acting evil. This is what you have done here. Because you THINK I believe myself "superior" you have now ascribed that to my intent and thus made a judgement, even though the words I wrote have no such meaning. So, in essence, to you, words have little or no meaning. Its all about my intent and agreement with you. Disagreement is bad. And THAT is where we are at as a country also.
@himerope,I agree, that is not a good experience.But here are some points on your post:
1. Your first one on audiogon and it is a "complaint"
2. You got the money back but you took the pain to register and complain
3. You tried to save $30-$40 and got a refurb.......and you said you dropped $$$ on their product. Sometimes it is better to wait rather than try to get stuff in a hurry to save a few $s.
Hope you got yourself another preamp and are enjoying your music.

@oldhvymec That's both hilarious and terrible! I had a similar experience with some household goods during an overseas move that sat on a dock in a leaky warehouse for a few months.  Luckily I had shipping insurance.  Wasn't really an act of God though.  More like the act of a horrible moving company.  As an aside, crawfish are quite tasty if prepared correctly, so there is always a bright side to things.

@milpai I actually wasn't even trying to save money. It was just the first time I'd seen the model I wanted available.  You're right that I've learned my lesson about refurbs. I've been a stereo enthusiast since I was in high school (which was a long time ago!), and I'm an engineer by trade, so hopefully my future posts will be more positive.
OP, 

I'm sorry but how is that hilarious? He lost his money / didn't get to enjoy the components. What about the business owner he bought from?!  Natural disasters are not something a normal human being laughs at. Does the suffering of others make you feel better about yourself?

Seems like you have no respect for anyone here. Based on your writing style alone, you appear to be from Audioholics or Head-Fi. Nobody cares if you're an Engineer. Good for you! 
I don't see anything in the OP's post that would imply a lack of respect for anyone. He had a bad experience and he shared it with the community. Not sure why some folks are getting so emotional about this.
It’s in the name, emotion, emotiva.  I’ve always thought it was a weird name.  
What, are the emo fanboys gonna hate on me now?  Time to grow up...
I have Emo gear that has been  working and sounding great for some time.  Used in one of my hendrixinc  systems. A cd player went bad after the 5 year warranty period.  They gave me the trade in value toward a new one. Not many companies give you money for trades or have 5 year. Warranty.  This gear works great for theater setups. 
Safe and Sound is a great outfit and based in MA...saved 33% on a 30 day returned Marantz Pm14s1 a few years back, still got it. It arrived like brand spanking new. It was "dealer" refurbished and not "factory" refurbished, which i would assume means they just tested it and made sure it arrived in a "new to me" state. $2000 for a $3000 integrated, I’d say thats a deal. Also bought my beloved Marantz HD CD-1 brand new from them for about $100 off list price. I would highly recommend them.
@himerope
Thanks for taking the time to post your experience. I appreciate hearing about people’s experiences, both positive and negative. 
For the love of Pete fellas, it's all good.. I'm a old heavy mechanic. You really think my BEAUTIFUL Mac gear/Katrina was bad.. LOL

I spent 89 days in a 4 foot by 4 foot cage in Panama.  Cockroaches and rice are pretty darn good, and If I could have gotten the rats through the wire, they would have been so solly chally.. Chomp Chomp..

That was tough..  As far a waterbugs and softshell crabs.. A good Cajun crab boil (pronounced "bawl") little rice and cold slaw... Get out of here...

I've learned a lesson or two... Sometime once was enough...

Regards..
Thanks for sharing the experience so people know what they might be getting into. I would not buy from a company that would sell anything in the condition you describe unless spelled out in detail up front. Used is one thing. Dirty and gross is another.
Some folks seem satisfied to set a very low bar for how people and companies should behave. Nothing high end about that at all.
Audiogoners buy Emotiva?
Good info cause I am looking at getting either an Emptiva 9 or a Monolith 9 New of course , Im saving up to be Jewish not actually Jewish , Im in it more for Home theater but demand excellent sound for music. Ive seen many reviews on youtube cause I am in the market for a 9 channel amp and emotiva and the monolith its almost a toss up for $2500 people love them I cant find anyone trashing either company , there are a few outliars and I will discount that but it does sound very possible that that did happen to you but they didn't let you hang out to Dry cause that would be a different story your not sour grapes either , we appreciate your feedback we need people like you to come forward if you were touched in your naughty spot. The fact that they made good speaks volumes about Emotiva maybe another company would have put you through the meat grinder and left you on beat street. I get it it was aged dusty dirty QA needs to be shot..
Ive seen roaches come out of AV gear . I was in the buisness Yuk its burned in my memory. 
Post removed 
^
1 Whac-A-Mole appeared.


mastering 92?  Is that the IQ level you hope to attain someday? If so, by the examples of your previous posts, you are heading in the wrong direction from the already cool room temp IQ you've displayed so far. The OP offered a rational observation, and without a single reply to your slings&arrows you've continued to attack. So I reiterate, STFU!